Summary: You can make a difference wwherever you are everyday because you’re different. And you can say in any given moment, “What can I give?” I want to help you to find out what kind of a person you are in a given moment.
A crumbling old church building needed remodeling, so, during his sermon, the preacher made an impassioned appeal looking directly at the richest man in town. At the end of the sermon, the rich man stood up and announced, "Pastor, I will contribute $1,000."
Just then, plaster fell from the ceiling and struck the rich man on the shoulder.
He promptly stood back up and shouted, "Pastor, I will increase my donation to $5,000."
Before he could sit back down, plaster fell on him again, and again he virtually screamed, "Pastor, I will double my last pledge.” He sat down, and a larger chunk of plaster fell on his head.
He stood up once more and hollered, "Pastor, I will give $20,000!"
This prompted a church trustee to shout, "Hit him again, Lord! Hit him again!"
Today I’m going to talk about giving and the law of circulation. You might be sitting there thinking to yourself, “Oh no. This is when the preacher starts to meddle in my affairs again. This is where he starts to talk about giving more to the church.”
I’m not going to talk about that kind of giving—it’s not about giving more money to the church. I’m going to discuss giving all of yourself to life and giving of your life as a response of gratitude to what you have been blessed with in this life.
Before I do that one of our long time members Galen Dellinger is going to come his personal faith story. He is going to discuss what he has learned about giving of himself to life as a response of gratitude.
Galen’s personal Faith Story
1—First of all, what do you really get if you’re totally living a Christian life? You get a new perception that is beyond human understanding alone. You know that when you’re facing life’s struggles, that you’re not facing it alone. And you know this with an inner conviction. That is your firm foundation. You have God’s Spirit with you, and God is powerful and bigger than any of your problems.
But what is the next step? It is acting on this conviction that God is with you. It is saying, “Okay, God. Here I am. I am going to be a lighthouse for humanity. Wherever I go, I’m going to encourage people and make a difference.”
You don’t have to give your life to the ministry or stand up at a pulpit on Sunday morning. You make a difference when you go to Wal-Mart or even the grocery store, because you’re different. And you say in any given moment, “What can I give?”
I want you to look at the chart on today’s sermon outline—this is a chart of your life. On one side of the chart, look at the word “Giving.” On the other side of the chart, notice the word, “Receiving.” I want you to find out what kind of a person you are in a given moment.
Are you a vacuum cleaner? Or are you a Sprinkler? There are primarily two types of people. What we’re urging you to do in Christianity is to constantly be a sprinkler, because the world needs more sprinklers—it has enough vacuum cleaners.
I don’t believe you’re here by accident. I believe you’re here to fulfill a divine purpose in life.
I believe that you’re going to make a profound difference in the people that you touch in your life. I really do.
Do you remember the story of Ebenezer Scrooge? He kept everything and hoarded everything his whole life. Then he learned, in the last part of his life, how to give. Do you remember the end of the story how he was dancing and bouncing around? And he said, “Can this much joy be safe for one individual?”
You find that true joy is giving of yourself. As you give back to others with God’s help, you find that that you will swell up with gratitude.
So I am not just talking about giving money. Actually, that’s a very small aspect of the giving principles that we have been teaching for the past couple of Sundays here.
I want you to concentrate on the air that is in this room for a moment. Concentrate on the air. Breathe in for a moment, and then feel yourself breathing out,
What if someone gave you the mistaken idea that there wasn’t enough air in this room? You’d try to breathe in as much as you possibly could. But you’d find that you couldn’t breathe in enough. If you’d try to hoard it, you’d begin to turn blue. And you’d have to exhale.
The blessings in your life is like breathing in and breathing out. God’s blessings include two halves: giving and receiving. If we tell ourselves that there’s not enough air in this room, we’re not going to get all that we need. We’re going to panic and hoard some of the air in here.